2018 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards

The Odebrecht corruption scandal continued to reverberate across Latin America’s project finance market over the past year, halting projects and spurring regulatory change. Bankruptcy woes at Spanish companies also posed challenges for some projects.

But the adversity led to creativity and resourcefulness. The traditional role of Brazilian national development bank BNDES changed. It was no longer the sole funding source in Brazil as issuers opted for local currency infrastructure bonds. Throughout the region, project developers increasingly turned to local currency financing structures.

Other projects were revived after a change in sponsor ownership helped to improve financing opportunities.

Work on Chile’s Cerro Dominador resumed after two years, breathing new life into South America’s only solar-thermal project after the previous sponsor ran into financial difficulties. In Mexico, the gas thermal plant Norte III also stalled before it was rescued by Macquarie.

Emerging markets investor Actis bet big on gas-powered initiatives, acquiring a large portfolio of assets in Mexico through project bonds. In Central America, Colombia’s Celsia issued the largest-ever dollar bond in Panama’s local market, while Petroperú set a new benchmark for Peruvian companies with the country’s first 30-year corporate issuance to finance and expand its Talara refinery.

Mexico City’s new airport trust pushed new boundaries with a sizeable Fibra-E instrument in local currency. In Brazil, gas-powered thermal project CELSE issued an internationally-marketed, real-denominated bond that served as a catalyst for other large projects looking to the capital markets.

Odinsa and El Condor brought first-time investors to Colombia to help finance the Pacifico II 4G toll road, while Brazil’s Entrevias welcomed a new sponsor that turned to the capital markets instead of BNDES.

SMBC again demonstrated its dominance in the project finance market, working on a range of deals from solar projects in Peru to wind in Chile and thermal efforts in Mexico among others. Itaú BBA occupied some of the space left by BNDES while Natixis facilitated thee transformative transactions in Mexico.

Milbank, Clifford Chance, Machado Meyer and Galicia Abogados were all involved in noteworthy deals, navigating a world of changing laws and new rules brought on by the Lava Jato investigation.

Although not on the winners list, projects such as Fisterra’s financing for the Tierra Mojada gas-fired power plant in Mexico and Stoneway’s bond sale in Argentina were also notable deals.

The winning deals recognized in this year’s Project and Infrastructure Awards were selected by LatinFinance’s editorial staff after examining information provided by market participants and publicly available data on the projects. LatinFinance evaluated deals that closed between June 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018.

Winning Deals

The winners of our 2018 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards were revealed at our Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards Dinner and in the September/October issue of LatinFinance. Click any winner for the full writeup.

Best Local Currency Financing and Best Airport Financing:
New International Airport of Mexico City (NAICM)

Best Port Financing:
Portonave

Best Road Financing:
Entrevias Concessionária de Rodovias

Best Transport Financing:
Lima Metro

Best Renewable Energy Financing and Best Infrastructure Financing-Andes:
Cerro Dominador

Best Power Financing:
Norte III

Best Oil & Gas Financing:
Petroperú

Best Loan:
Pacífico II

Best Bond and Best Infrastructure Financing-Brazil:
CELSE

Best Infrastructure Financing-Central America:
Celsia

Best Infrastructure Financing-Mexico:
Cometa Energía

Best Infrastructure Law Firm-Andes:
Clifford Chance

Best Infrastructure Law Firm-Mexico:
Galicia Abogados

Best Infrastructure Law Firm-Brazil:
Machado Meyer

Best Infrastructure Law Firm-Latin America:
Milbank

Best Infrastructure Bank-Brazil:
Itaú BBA

Best Infrastructure Bank-Mexico:
Natixis

Best Infrastructure Bank-Andes and Best Infrastructure Bank-Latin America:
SMBC

Best Project Sponsor:
Macquarie Capital

Outstanding Deals

The following deals and firms were shortlisted for our 2018 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards.

Outstanding Local Currency Financing
Porto de Sergipe
Ruta al Mar

Outstanding Airport Financing
Rio Galeao Long-term Financing

Outstanding Port Financing
Tramarsa

Outstanding Road Financing
Ruta al Mar
Pacifico II

Outstanding Transport Financing
GACM

Outstanding Renewable Energy Financing
Reynosa
Jinko Solar

Outstanding Power Financing
Porto de Sergipe
Cometa Energia
Tierra Mojada

Outstanding Oil & Gas Financing
Fermaca

Outstanding Loan
Lima Metro
Norte III

Outstanding Bond
Cometa Energia
Ruta al Mar
Stoneway (honorable mention)

Outstanding Infrastructure Financing-Caribbean
Pecasa
Agua Clara

Outstanding Infrastructure Financing-Central America
Monte Plata Solar Power Plant

Outstanding Infrastructure Financing-Andes
Ruta al Mar
Lima Metro

Outstanding Infrastructure Financing-Brazil
Entrevias
Belo Monte Transmissora de Energia - Bipole I

Outstanding Infrastructure Financing-Mexico
GACM Fibra E
Norte III

Outstanding Infrastructure Law Firm-Andes
Milbank
PPU

Outstanding Infrastructure Law Firm-Mexico
Jones Day
Gonzalez Calvillo

Outstanding Infrastructure Law Firm-Brazil
Mattos Filho
Stocche Forbes

Outstanding Infrastructure Law Firm-Latin America
Clifford Chance
White & Case

Outstanding Infrastructure Bank-Andes
Mizuho
Natixis

Outstanding Infrastructure Bank-Brazil
Goldman Sachs
Santander

Outstanding Infrastructure Bank-Mexico
MUFG
SMBC

Outstanding Infrastructure Bank-Latin America
Natixis
Goldman Sachs

Outstanding Project Sponsor
E Brasil
Actis
Invenergy

Selection Process

Click any of the sections below for full details on the selection process.

Overview

LatinFinance’s 2018 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards recognize the most impressive transactions and institutions in a field critical to the region's economic progress.

Categories

The categories for LatinFinance's 2018 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards are:

  1. Best Local Currency Financing
  2. Best Airport Financing
  3. Best Port Financing
  4. Best Road Financing
  5. Best Transport Financing
  6. Best Renewable Energy Financing
  7. Best Power Financing
  8. Best Oil & Gas Financing
  9. Best Loan
  10. Best Bond
  11. Best Infrastructure Financing: Caribbean
  12. Best Infrastructure Financing: Central America
  13. Best Infrastructure Financing: Andes
  14. Best Infrastructure Financing: Brazil
  15. Best Infrastructure Financing: Mexico
  16. Best Infrastructure Law Firm: Andes
  17. Best Infrastructure Law Firm: Mexico
  18. Best Infrastructure Law Firm: Brazil
  19. Best Infrastructure Law Firm: Latin America
  20. Best Infrastructure Bank: Andes
  21. Best Infrastructure Bank: Brazil
  22. Best Infrastructure Bank: Mexico
  23. Best Infrastructure Bank: Latin America
  24. Best Project Sponsor

Criteria

The following lists highlight the main criteria to be used in judging LatinFinance’s 2018 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards.

For all categories, we consider transactions that have closed between June 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018.

Deals

Categories 1 to 15 will be judged on:

  • Market significance, strategic importance, and groundbreaking qualities
  • Structural aspects of the transaction, including complexity, innovation and size
  • Execution, including price and demand achieved compared to other references in the market and with regard to conditions at the time
  • Secondary market performance, and reception by peers and investors
  • Geographical reach, where relevant

Institutions

Categories 16 to 24 will be judged on:

  • Overall strategy, volume and diversity of transactions
  • Innovation and foresight
  • Execution quality and success of transactions worked on
  • Role in particularly complex, innovative, or large deals over the year
  • Quantity of transactions worked on over the year, and compared to previous years

Selection Process

LatinFinance's 2018 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards are decided by LatinFinance's editors, following an extensive research process. The key elements of each step of the process are outlined below.

Nominations

Banks, law firms, and companies working in infrastructure finance may nominate one transaction in each category for consideration. Nominations are due by July 10, 2018, and must use the official nomination form.

Market consultation

Between July 11 and August 10, 2018, LatinFinance will discuss the relative merits of shortlisted transactions and institutions with a wide range of market participants. Institutions that submit nominations may at the same time request a call or meeting with LatinFinance's judging panel to discuss their submission.

Examination of financial data

LatinFinance will research transaction data and other publicly available information for each of the nominated transactions and institutions. As is relevant in each category, such data will include, but will not be limited to: presentations on the projects being financed, stock exchange filings, transaction pricing details, secondary market trading data.

Editorial evaluation

LatinFinance's editorial team retains discretion over the final allocation of awards in each category. The final decision will be based on nominations, market consultation, research of financial data, and feedback on transactions over the course of the past 12 months.

Announcements

We will be publish a short list of finalists on August 24. Winners will be informed following publication of the short list, with the news embargoed until the publication of the September edition of LatinFinance. Awards will be presented at LatinFinance’s Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards Dinner in October.

Participate

Nominations for the 2018 awards ended on July 10. Banks, law firms, and companies working in infrastructure finance were able to nominate one transaction or institution in each category.

Awards Dinner

LatinFinance will present winners with their awards at the Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards Dinner on October 3, 2018, in New York City. This event is by invitation only. For more information, visit our Project & Infrastructure Awards Dinner page or contact Andreia Amyradakis, Regional Director, at andreia.amyradakis@latinfinance.com.

Contact

Send inquiries to awards@latinfinance.com with "2018 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards" in the subject line.

Previous winners: 2019, 2017, 2016, 2015